Thursday, August 25, 2005

Back

Sorry for the delay in posting. I am having some Internet connection problems.

Here are a few links to hold you over:

Update on Geula Watches from Akiva

Update from Rav Eliyahu from Akiva

Trail of Tears Part 5 from R' Lazer Brody

Prediction 10 years ago by one of the 36 Tzadikim

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Ledavid.com Closes - New Forum Opens

The Ledavid.com Hebrew-language forum has been closed. (The English-language forum remains open.)

However, a new forum in Hebrew that deals with Mashiah has been opened.

If you're a Dover Ivrit, Check it out.

Sephardic Rabbis Protest

From Arutz Sheva:
(IsraelNN.com) Shas Party Chairman Eli Yishai said Tuesday that Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef instructed him to tell all Shas Party Knesset members to go to Gush Katif during the implementation of the Disengagement.

According to Yishai, the rabbi said, "We are brothers in pain and it is obligatory to care for the residents and do everything they ask."

Rabbi Yosef is former Sephardic chief rabbi of Israel and is one of the most influential rabbis alive.


Also from Arutz Sheva:
The son of Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, Rabbi Yossi Eliyahu, informed an Arutz-7 correspondent of the following directives from his father on Tuesday:

The public should increase Torah study "for the merit of those under siege in Gush Katif."

Recite T'hillim (Psalms) concentrating on Chapters 91 and 20, repeating them many times over.

People who have the strength to fast, should accept upon themselves at Mincha time (during the daily afternoon prayer, before sundown) that they will fast tomorrow (Wednesday) from the break of dawn until nightfall.
Important: Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu said that those inside Gush Katif (and those on their way there – Rabbi Yossi Eliyahu) should not participate in this fast.

Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu (pictured above), a former Chief Sephardic Rabbi of the State of Israel, is a leading halachic (Jewish legal) and Kabbalistic scholar many of whose students and followers reside in the Jewish Communities of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza (Yesha).

Previously, Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu communicated via another son, Tzfat Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, the following announcement:

"From the straits, I call to you, G-d.
It is a difficult time for Jacob, and from it we will be saved.
In order to annul the decree which is hovering over the Jewish People, one should make efforts to recite Tikun Hatzot and Pitum Hak'toret in groups. If it is difficult to recite with a group, then it should be recited alone. Through the strength of unity and prayer, we will be redeemed.
The Lord should build the Building of Ariel [ed: The Temple], and gather our brothers, the House of Israel, to our Holy Land, and we will settle it in its complete borders as promised by G-d to our holy fathers, and He should expel the nations of the world from our Land, now, speedily, and soon. Amen.
The time for reciting Tikun Hatzot in Israel is from 12:44 AM.

The Kassam and the Yassam

The verse in Ha'azinu states:

מִחוּץ, תְּשַׁכֶּל-חֶרֶב, וּמֵחֲדָרִים, אֵימָה; גַּם-בָּחוּר, גַּם-בְּתוּלָה--יוֹנֵק, עִם-אִישׁ שֵׂיבָה.

Without shall the sword bereave, and in the chambers terror; ...both young man and virgin, the suckling with the man of gray hairs.

מִחוּץ, תְּשַׁכֶּל-חֶרֶב(Without shall the sword bereave) can apply to the Kassam missiles sent from Palestinian villages.

וּמֵחֲדָרִים, אֵימָה(and in the chambers terror) can apply to the Yassam policemen, who are planning to grab Gush Katif residents from within their own chambers to expel them from the area.

גַּם-בָּחוּר, גַּם-בְּתוּלָה(both young man and virgin) can apply to the boys and girls who are going to the synagogues tonight:

It was similarly resolved - in some circles - that at 8 PM tonight, the visiting youths should come to the central synagogue complex. Other reports are that the youths should assemble earlier. The boys are to gather in the Ashkenazi shul, and the girls - including close to 1,000 high school girls who have gathered over the past few weeks in the local ulpanah (religious girls' high school) - will be in the Sephardic synagogue. The stated purpose is to show a united front, and to protect the synagogues.
יוֹנֵק, עִם-אִישׁ שֵׂיבָה(the suckling with the man of gray hairs) can apply to the babies

Two babies have been born in Gush Katif in the past three days - one as his mother was on her way out of Netzarim, and another one in Ganei Tal last night.

and the elderly (video by Shlomo Wollins of IsraelReporter.com).

But we know, that after Ha'azinu (which many of us read on Tish'a Be'av) comes Vezot Haberacha, where it states:

וַיְהִי בִישֻׁרוּן, מֶלֶךְ, בְּהִתְאַסֵּף רָאשֵׁי עָם, יַחַד שִׁבְטֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל
And there was a king in Jeshurun, when the heads of the people were gathered, all the tribes of Israel together.

With Hashem's help, it won't be long.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Tinokot Shel Beit Rabban Against Disengagement

Some from the JBlogosphere have criticized the use of children in protests against the Disengagement.

However, I doubt that even they would object to this form of protest mentioned by Ladaat.net (my translation):
Today (Monday), there will be organized - in many areas around Israel - prayers of the Tinokot Shel Beit Rabban [loosely translated as Torah-learning children] with the purpose of nullifying the decree of the expulsion of Jews from Gush Katif. In some of the locations where the prayers will be organized, expensive prizes will be distributed to the kids. In flyers that were publicized recently, the children were called upon to bring their friends. It's understood, that just as Mordechai Hatzaddik was successful in preventing the decree in Shushan Habirah - in the merit of the Tinokot Shel Beit Rabban, so too this time, the kids will be successful to prevent the harsh decree that hovers over the inhabitants of Gush Katif and all of Israel.


After I translated it, I realized that Arutz Sheva also mentions it here.

--------------------

Also from Ladaat.net, certain rabbis have asked people to recite the following chapters of Tehillim:

124
140
130
133

Blogging From the Front Lines

http://muqata.blogspot.com/

http://savingthestrip.blogspot.com/

http://israelreporter.com

If I missed any, please let me know.

To all these people, and all the thousands with them, I say:

Hashem yishmorcha mikol ra; yishmor et nafshecha

Akiva Nihamtanu, Akiva Nihamtanu

Laugh or cry, Akiva's Har Habayit pictures are very moving. Watch the slideshow while singing "Al Har Tzion Sheshamem..." for added effect.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Crying on Tish'a Be'av

This Tish'a Be'av, it won't be hard to cry.

Normally, crying on Tish'a Be'av doesn't come easily for me. I am usually too busy praying, watching videos, and thinking about how many hours it will be until I can eat.

Not this year.

This year, I can't help but think about how different things would be in Israel if we only had a Beit Hamikdash - if we only had a Melech Hamashiah instead of a Malchut Harish'a. I can't help but think about how when we were exiled from Jerusalem, our "cousins", who tricked us into thinking it was water, actually gave us bags of air which blew up in our stomachs. I can't help but think about how these "cousins" want to take over the very communities from which Jews are being exiled. I can't help but think that, barring a miracle, I will see for the first time in my lifetime the full meaning of Galut. I can't help but think how these "cousins" are still not satisfied and want to exile us from Jerusalem yet again.

So, unless the ultimate miracle - the Geula - starts, I will very likely be crying this Tish'a Be'av.

Whoever mourns for Yerushalayim merits and sees its rebuilding. (Taanit 30b)

Let us pray that this happens Bimhera Veyamenu.

1400 Drums Bought

Anyone know more about this?

Apparently, a woman in Gush Katif bought 1400 drums for women to play to thank Hashem for being saved from the Disengagement (Hayo Lo Tihyeh) - just as Miriam Haneviah did at the splitting of the Red Sea.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Ladaat.net: More than half-million at Kotel

Ladaat.net reports (with pictures) that there were more than 500,000 people at today's Kotel prayer rally. They say it was like nothing they've ever seen before.

I wonder if there were as many as 600,000. Then, things could start to get interesting.

Kotel Rally Today

From http://www.aish.com/wallcam (all times are Israel time):

5:40PM



6:00 PM



6:20 PM



6:40 PM



7:00 PM



Who knows how many people the camera missed!

Text of prayers said today

What a Kiddush Shem Shamayim! It's incredibly heartening to see the Ahdut of Kelal Yisrael.
Let's hope that the Tefillot broke through Sha'arei Shamayim to end the Gezeirot Ra'ot VeKashot.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Russia's Chief Rabbi: Mashiah Imminent

I'm not sure if this is newsworthy or not, but I found it via Google News.

I find it somewhat newsworthy in that even chief rabbis are talking about it.

Rav Ovadia: All Must Go Pray Wednesday

Arutz Sheva (so far, only in Hebrew) reports that the prayer rally on Wednesday will feature representatives from all walks of Torah-based Jewish life.
Rav Ovadia Yosef said that it is obligatory for all to join in the prayer rally on Wednesday.
He also said, "I pray every day, but we need to make a mass prayer. And even if a sharp knife is placed on a person's neck, one should not give up hope from [Heavenly] mercy," quoting from Berachot 10a.

Update: The English version has it now too.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Today's Miscellaneous News

Articles that interested me today:

Helping to understand what a Hurban is
Jewish Jordan - Aharon Hakohen's grave and more
Shas MK Eli Yishai witnesses police brutality and stops it
PA: Gaza is still occupied
Note to self: don't ever let wife sit in back seat

Disengagement? It Aint Happenin' IV

Yaakov Nathan writes:

Someone posted this on the Hebrew Forum


(Free translation)
Surely everyone on this forum knows Rav Nir ben-Artzi, and everyone knows the weekly dvar Torah that comes from the Yeshiva Talmei Geulat Am Yisrael every Friday. The headline of last week's edition was There Will Not be Disengagement, and it spoke about how Hakadosh Baruch Hu will draw things out to the last moment, and then "overturn the dishes" in order to show who is truly in control. When everyone will already be certain that the situation is irreversible, the wheel will turn and there won't be any disengagement.

Gematria

People have strong opinions on the use of Gematria. Some argue that anyone can make up whatever they want and get a Gematria to fit into their theme to prove its validity. Some therefore abondon their use altogether. Others would say to only use Gematria to add spice to an idea that stands on its own. Still others would build a whole concept based on a Gematria. The article about Rav Yoel Schwartz (mentioned previously) agrees with this third view.
In addition, the article says (translated):
Rav Schwarts himself was originally skeptical about the subject of Gematrias, and like everyone, he thought of it as a sarcastic "Big deal". The Vilna Gaon says that within a person's name, his/her purpose in life is hinted to, and when Rav Schwartz checked different variations of Gematria of his name, he found a number relating to his books and to the Nahal Hareidi [which he founded] - 2 of the rabbi's most important tasks at-hand. "From the time of the Gulf War, I started to pay attention to Gematrias, and I was actually astonished. When you start to get accustomed to doing Gematrias, they actually jump right across your eyes [at you]. I have no need for a computer. When there's something true, I'll find it even without a computer, and when there isn't, even a computer won't help."


I'm mentioning this because someone asked me to translate more of Rav Schwartz's gematrias from that same article:

The verse says: הנצנים נראו בארץ עת הזמיר הגיע וקול התור נשמע בארצנו and the Vilan Gaon says that this verse hints to the entire order of Geula. Rav Schwartz says that every word also has to do with Gush Katif:
  • (Neve Dekalim) הנצנים = 245 = נוה דקלים

  • (Kefar Darom) נראו בארץ = 550 = כפר דרום

  • (Yasser Arafat)נראו בארץ עת = 1020 = יסר ערפת

  • (Yitzhak Rabin)עת = 470 = יצחק רבין

  • (Kassam Rockets) טילי קסאם +2 = (Atzmonah)הזמיר = 262 = 1+ עצמונה

  • (Oslo Agreements) הסכם אוסלו +2 =  הגיע וקול = 230

  • (The year of the Oslo Agreement signing) וקול התור = 753 = תשנ"ג

  • (Shimon Peres) נשמע = 460 = כתֹם = שמעֹן


All three signers of the Oslo Agreements are hinted to in this verse. This teaches us that since this verse speaks of the signs of redemption, all of these people and ideas are part of the subject of redemption.


A couple more pertinent Gematrias not in that article:

Disengagement? It Aint Happenin III

Parts I, II, IIa

R' Dov Bar Leib writes in an update:

I was told today by a great Rav, here in Kochav Yakov/Tel Tzion, that we are not losing Gaza. Obviously he is from the students of Elisha through Rav Nachman of Breslov who clarified how the students of Elisha should feel and think. This is a battle against K'feira (Deniers of Divine Providence) that wants to keep the Jews who are prosperous as secular as possible. Gush Katif is probably the most prosperous of the G-d fearing areas of the Land of Israel. All the forces of evil in the world want it destroyed. It tears the deniers of G-d apart that the sons of prophets will be victorious with G-d's help. The students of Eliyahu will have their day too in Yericho and Yerushalayim, very soon. How these things with regards to Gush Katif will happen, I do not know. (I actually have an idea, but I cannot speak about it at this time.) Yet, I have been told to remain steadfast through this process and to avoid exposing myself to the media's perspective as much as possible.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Vowing to Stop Disengagement

The headline is not as it seems. You're reading it wrong. Some people are vowing - actually taking vows - in order to stop the Disengagement (Hayo Lo Tihyeh). This is something allowed according to the Shulhan Aruch in times of trouble (see Yoreh De'ah 203:5). This is what Arutz Sheva says about it:
...the organizers call upon "tens of thousands" to take upon themselves the following commitment:

"If G-d comes to our aid and to the aid of all Israel, and preserves us during these times of tribulation as the sword of destruction and expulsion is lifted against us, and saves us and gives us the areas of our Land and inheritance in Gush Katif and northern Shomron, with their communities and residents - men, women and children - ... then, we, men, women and youth, commit without a vow to dedicate part of our time on behalf of the Land of Israel and the Nation of Israel according to the Torah of Israel once/twice/three times a month for the course of a year."

Among the recommended activities are those on behalf of national social justice according to the spirit and vision of the Torah and the prophets; redemption of captives such as Jonathan Pollard; educational and Torah activities; face-to-face activities with other Jews for the purpose of bringing them closer to G-d, Judaism and the Land of Israel; and kindness to the sick, elderly and others.

"And thus we will thank, praise and sanctify G-d for His salvation," the organizers conclude.

Rabbis supporting the initiative include Rabbis Yaakov Ariel, Yigal Kaminetzky, Moti Elon, Shlomo Aviner, Shmuel Tal and Yuval Cherlow.


I would just like to add that just because it's permitted in these circumstances doesn't mean that vows should be taken lightly. Vows are very serious, and should only be taken with extreme caution. One should do a serious Heshbon Hanefesh to see if one can truly handle this kind of commitment before undertaking it.

Update: As Yitz pointed out in the comments, this is being done "without a vow" (bli neder).

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Rashi's 900th Yahrtzeit

ShofarNews did a nice write-up on 16 things you didn't know about Rashi, whose 900th Yahrtzeit is this Friday. I'll translate the main points:


  1. In Troyes, France, there is a street named after him. Troyes was the city in which Rashi was born and where he taught.

  2. His study hall in Troyes burnt down in 1524.

  3. Legend has it that flies never entered Rashi's home.

  4. Rashi had no sons - just 3 daughters, named Miriam, Yocheved, and Rahel. Some say he had a fourth daughter, but her name is unknown.

  5. Rashi's commentary was the first Hebrew book printed by the printing press in 1482. Due to the Spanish Inquisition and Expulsion, all but 1 of these books were lost. The remaining 1 resides in a library in Italy.

  6. "Rashi Script" is not attributable to Rashi at all. It was the old Sephardic script that the publisher used to differentiate between the words of the Humash and those of Rashi.

  7. Over 300 books were authored on Rashi's commentary, the most famous being the Mizrahi and Siftei Hachamim.

  8. His commentary on the Talmud was distributed while he was still alive in small pamphlets, thus the popular name for Rashi of "Kuntras".

  9. The Gemara with Rashi was first printed in Venice in 1520. It includes all tractates, except for Makot, Bava Batra, and Nedarim. Portions of his commentary on other tractates attributed to Rashi are not really his.

  10. He authored other books besides his famous commentary, including "Sefer Hapardes", "Rashi's Siddur", and 3 Piutim of Selihot.

  11. Rashi worked as a wine-producer on a vineyard, which was common for the Jews of Troyes.

  12. He uses Old French to translate Hebrew or Aramaic words in his commentary 3,157 times. The Hida writes that one word of Rashi can sometimes answer a bundle of questions so only special people can truly recognize his brilliance.

  13. Rashi was great in humility, as is evidenced by his usage sometimes of: "I don't know what this means."

  14. He lived in Worms, in present-day Germany, for a period of 10 years. "Rashi's House" was built in 1642 on land that is assumed to be where he lived, over an 800-year-old Mikveh. There are no Jews living in Worms today.

  15. He died in the middle of writing his commentary on tractate Makot, page 19b [YY - also, according to 1 printing, he died while writing on Bava Batra 29a, where it says "Kan Met Rashi Za"L"]. He died on Thursday, the 29th of Tamuz, 4865 (1105), at the age of 65.

  16. The burial place of Rashi is unknown, but his commentary is alive and living in the mouths of numerous Torah-learners everywhere.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Agudah Sponsors Prayer Rally Against Disengagement

Ladaat.net reports that Agudat Yisrael is sponsoring a prayer rally at the Kotel on Wednesday, the 5th of Av. It is intended to cap off 3 days of prayers throughout Israel starting Monday morning and lasting until Wednesday evening. Wednesday (the 5th of Av) is the Hilula of the Ari Hakadosh.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

The Future Challenges of Faith

Rav Lazer Brody just posted on the difficult challenges of faith that we will be having in the future.

Check it out.

Shema All Around the World

Arutz Sheva reports:
World-Wide 'Shema' Wednesday
13:59 Jul 31, '05 / 24 Tammuz 5765
By Hershel Cummins


An appeal has been made to every Jew around to world to simultaneously read the first lines of the prayer known as Shema: "Hear O Israel, The L-rd is Our G-d, the L-rd is One" on Wednseday.

The prayer is intended to ask for Divine help to prevent violence toward the planned expulsion of Jewish residents from Gaza and northern Samaria and for Divine intervention to cancel the plan. The prayer is organized under the motto, United We Stand, Divided We Fall.

The prayer will be recited at 9 p.m. Wednesday at the Western Wall (Kotel) in Jerusalem and at 2 p.m. in New York.

Children around the world also are being asked to pray together the following night, one day before the beginning of the new Hebrew month Av. Former Chief Rabbi of Israel Mordechai Eliyahu will lead the Thursday night prayer at the Western Wall.

An unidentified group of women initiated the call for the children's prayer, which will take place at 7:30 p.m. in Israel (12:30 p.m. in New York).

Chabad (Lubavitch) leaders said they are encouraging children to attend the prayer rally at the Western Wall, where more than 20,000 children are expected.


I'm reminded of Rav Ovadia Yosef's dream:
He added details about his conversation with the King Mashiah: "I asked him, the Mashiah: 'Why don't you reveal yourself already? Look, we are suffering, and we're all in pain.' The King Mashiah answered me in these words: 'Because there are a million Jewish children who do not say the Shema Yisrael every day - because of this, I have not come. Go tell all single Yeshiva students and Avrechim to go out and bring people closer to Avodat Hashem.' "

Lazer Brody talks w/ Morrocan Kabbalist

From Lazer Beams:
Ashdod is blessed with tzaddikim (exceptionally pious) and talmidei chachomim (scholars). Rabbi BT is both a tzaddik and a talmid chochom, who stays far away from the public eye. 70 years old and Moroccan born, Rabbi BT is a genius in Kabbala who devotes 20 hours a day to prayer and Torah study, yet looks like the simplest human on earth. He barely speaks, but when he does, he's quoting Talmud or Zohar. With Hashem's help, I was able to able to exchange a few words with Rabbi BT earlier today.

Lazer: Rabbi BT, what's the spiritual message behind the government's disengagement plan?

Rabbi BT: This is a terrible decree against all the entire people of Israel. Gush Katif is the sacrificial lamb (kapara, in original Hebrew). All the great rabbinical sages of the generation - Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef, Rabbi Mordechai Eliahu, Rabbi Shlomo Amar, Rabbi Elyashiv - all have forbidden the destruction of Jewish settlements, yeshivot, mikvas, and synagogues.

Lazer: Why doesn't Sharon listen to them?

Rabbi BT: He can't; he no longer possesses free will. The situation resembles that of Pharoah. But, Hashem will utilize Sharon to implement Divine will.

Lazer: Rabbi Mordechai Eliahu Shlit'a has said repeatedly that there won't be a disengagement. On the other hand, one of Rabbi Levi Nachmani's (of blessed memory, a pious and scholarly Kabbalist from Ramot, Jerusalem who passed away several years ago) leading pupils has said that there will be a disengagement in Gaza, and that the real fight will be for Jerusalem.

Rabbi BT: I am nothing but dust of the earth, and I certainly cannot contradict a single word that comes out of Rabbi Mordechai Eliahu's holy mouth, but the Zohar says emphatically that the moment of truth for the Jewish people will be Jerusalem. In my humble opinion, the settlements of Gush Katif and the exile of the thousands of righteous brave families that live there is only a tactic of diversion to conceal the real designs of the weak leaders who, rather than fearing the Lord, fear the foreign leaders who are plotting against the Jewish people. Even though I pray that the decree against Gush Katif will be rescinded, I think it will happen. Gush Katif is miniature compared to the test of faith that awaits us.

Lazer: You mean Jerusalem, Rabbi BT?

Rabbi BT: Yes. The world will try to take it from us. Few Jews will remain loyal and steadfast in their belief (emuna, in the original Hebrew). Many will think Hashem has forsaken us, G-d forbid. But, by virtue of those loyal few who unshakingly cling to their faith in Hashem, Moshiach will come and evil will be destroyed, G-d willing. The test of faith is only beginning...

Lazer: Rabbi BT, a lot of people have agreed to say Perek Shira for 40 days straight in behalf of Gush Katif. If the disengagement does materialize, they'll be sorely disappointed. How can I encourage them?

Rabbi BT: When a child asks a father for something, the father is allowed to say no. Our Holy Father in Heaven is no different. We must strengthen ourselves with the firm belief that everything He does is for the ultimate best. As for prayer, 40 consecutive days of Perek Shira is a powerful spiritual weapon. Prayer never goes to waste. If Hashem decides not to use those prayers to save Gush Katif, He may very well use them to save Jerusalem. Lazer, urge anyone who heeds your voice to keep on praying. My own wife was up until 4 a.m. this morning saying the entire Tehillim (Book of Psalms) in behalf of the Jewish settlers, both in Gaza and in the Shomron. Don't ever give up hope. Pray and Torah are the lamb's only answers to the seventy wolves (lamb is allegorical for Israel, the seventy wolves symbolize the nations of the world - LB).

Lazer (now on Rabbi BT's front doorstep in a dilapidated apartment building filled mostly with low-income immigrant families): Thank you, Rabbi, and may Hashem keep you strong!

Rabbi BT: Together with you and all the people of Israel, amen!


R' Dov Bar Leib explains the Mahloket of Kabbalists in a bit more depth:

To all questioners with regards to Lazer Brody's interview with a mekubal. There are obviously two legitimate schools of thought: The students of Eliyahu and the students of Elisha. See all the letters from the previous blog entry.

The students of Eliyahu think that the big battle is Yerushaliyim. The students of Elisha can see the yeshua in Gush Katif. Eliyahu heralds Mashiach ben David not Mashiach ben Yosef. M. ben Yosef comes with the Vav in Hashem's name. M. ben David comes with the final Hey in his name. This is why at the Pesach seder when Eliyahu finally shows up, the third cup representing the Vav in HaShem's name has already been drunk.

See you in S'derot, or at least pray that the students of Elisha are right. Pray hard!


He is referring to the Targum Yonatan on Devarim 34:3, which talks about the students of Eliyahu and of Elisha. Ayin Sham.

Rav Yoel Schwartz on the Geula

Cosmic X posted a link to a great article from Arutz Sheva's Hebrew magazine B'Sheva site about Rav Yoel Schwartz, one of the Roshei Yeshiva of Yeshivat Dvar Yerushalayim.

Rav Schwartz has an impresive resume and workload besides his role in the Yeshiva: he is very active in leading Bnei Noah, was highly involved with advising the production of Gush Katif bug-free produce, was the founder of the Nahal Hareidi, and has written about 200 books.

These are excerpts of his thoughts on the Ge'ula, and how to bring it to fruition:

  • [After giving it to secular Zionism, he was asked, "What about Religious Zionism?" His reply:]"There are people who call themselves Zionists, but they really go with the approach of the Vilna Gaon, who holds that one can hasten the Ge'ula by building Israel, actively - not passively. There are 3 approaches: The first holds not to do anything [in building up the infrastructure of the Land of Israel], and that anything done will just slow down the Geula process. The Zionists' approach is "We'll take our fate into our own hands." The third approach is that of the Vilna Gaon, explained in his book "Kol Hator", that it's incumbant upon us to be partners with Hashem in the world, and that this is what will hasten the Geula. I believe that the Halacha in heaven is like this [third] opinion because events in the field prove so: the center of Torah today is in Eretz Yisrael. It's incumbant upon us to understand the greatness of the hour.
    I explain the matter like this: In the Diaspora, we had a Shabbos Goy. In Israel, we had a Jewish Goy, and now Hashem wants there to be a Jewish Jew. In other words, in the Diaspora, we left the positions of public office to the non-Jews. In Israel, we left them to the secular Zionists, who "break the head" let them wrack their brains [and figure out how to solve the problems of running a state]. However, Hashem wants us to take everything upon us. The words of the Hatam Sofer are constantly opposite my eyes: that if a man says that he doesn't want to build up Eretz Yisrael in order not to be Mevatel Torah, it's as if he refuses to put on Tefillin in order not to be Mevatel Torah."

  • [When asked what we need to do today, he replied:] "To build Eretz Yisrael. I'll explain what I said. Why was a Hareidi mayor [Rabbi Uri Lapolianski] elected in Yerushalayim? Because he established [the charitable medical-supply organization] Yad Sarah. Why is the Hareidi influence in Netanya greater than their numbers? Because they established Laniado Hospital. If you also worry for the material well-being of a person, he will be convinced that you really want to help him."

  • "Preparation for Geula fills the life of Rav Schwartz. He sees the Nahal Hareidi as another step in the Geula process, and he showed me [the author of the article] how the connection of the Nahal Hareidi to Mashiah ben Yosef is hinted to. He found support for the importance of his efforts of dealing with Bnei Noah from (the Vilna Gaon's) Kol Hator. And even in the appearance of bug-free lettuce near Passover 1990, he sees a sign that works out according to the dates of Geula of the Vilna Gaon"

  • "The Geula will not come on its own; you need to bring it."


Also, see the amazing Gematriot near the end of the article based on the Pasuk in Shir Hashirim:

הנצנים נראו בארץ עת הזמיר הגיע וקול התור נשמע בארצנו

If there's interest, I'll translate or summarize this, BL"N.

There's another Gematria involving the color orange mentioned by Rav Schwartz that I found pretty amazing:

  • The Hebrew word for yellow is Tzahov - צהוב - with a Gematria of 103. This is the same Gematria as Oslo - אוסלו.

  • The Hebrew word for red is Adom - אדם - with a Gematria of 45 (without the vav). This is the same Gematria as Geula - גאולה.

  • We are currently in between Oslo and Geula, so the colors are now mixed, and we get orange.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Big News by End of Week?

Rabbi Pinchas Winston:

Actually, it is the fast of the 17th of Tammuz today as I write this, the first day of the Three Weeks. I have just gotten off the phone with someone who has told me, in the name of a certain Mekubel, that events will occur by the Shabbos of the parshah for which this is being written that will impact the entire world. Apparently certain signs are supposed to occur to indicate this, and have been quickly since last Lag B'Omer.


Is this the big news? Or is it something bigger?

(Hat tip: Yaakov Nathan)

Update: An anonymous poster pointed this scary article out to me.